For the first time in 25 years, Democrats control all branches of the Virginia state government.
With firm control, Democrats will be tackling a host of progressive policy proposals from gun control to minimum wage hikes.
One priority that Eric Levitz of New York Mag calls for is labor reform.
He argues that “Virginia is currently one of the most anti-union states in the country”, while pointing out that Virginia “is one of only three states to explicitly bar all public-sector workers from bargaining collectively.”
Levitz particularly singles out Virginia’s “right to work” law, which strikes back against Big Labor’s federally granted power to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. He believes that “Virginia Democrats must put repealing these statutes at the top of their to-do list.”
Unlike most proponents of Big Labor, Levitz is explicit about the partisan implications of Right to Work laws. He noted that “Virginia Democrats also have purely self-interested reasons for prioritizing labor rights: Few other items on the progressive agenda would do more to strengthen the party’s grip on power.”
Levitz also added, “Whenever the GOP wins a trifecta in a remotely purple state, it immediately sets about undermining labor rights.”
The writer alluded to “anti-tax crusader” Grover Norquist’s statement that if right-to-work laws like Virginia’s are “enacted in a dozen more states, the modern Democratic Party will cease to be a competitive power in American politics.”
Indeed, if Democrats wants to consolidate their hold over Virginia politics, they will be targeting Right to Work.
Liberty conservatives will have their hands full in the upcoming session of the Virginia General Assembly. For the sake of their political relevancy, liberty conservatives will need to do everything possible to prevent Right to Work from being repealed.
A monolithic Democratic hold over Virginia state politics will put Republicans, and by extension, liberty conservatives as permanent minorities in Old Dominion.